Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tonight, our reporters cover everything sports

...except hockey, probably.

Now, it's been said before: The NHL has problems getting good media in the world of sports. It seems the only time they are mentioned is either when a major record is broken, someone gets a significant suspension, or when a certain player forces the league to make a new rule. Or lacerates his spleen. Or dates another new starlet (I wonder where hockey gets more face time...Sports Illustrated or People).

Why this happens I do not know. But I began thinking about it after reading CKim's post and seeing this clip made by The Onion.

NHL Star Called Up To Big Leagues To Play For NFL Team

Ok, yes, I thought it was kind of funny, but it does bring up the big issue of why the NHL isn't as big as other sports, such as football, baseball, and basketball. So I made a list of why hockey is better than other sports/why people should like it more (not because any of you need convincing, more because people who refuse to acknowledge hockey bug me.)

1) It's much more exciting. I'm a baseball fan too and even I have problems sitting through the entire nine innings without feeling a slight bit bored. I can truthfully say I have never been bored at a hockey game.

2) The players don't get arrested as much. Yes, the NHL has it's thugs, and there are incidents every now and then, but it isn't even close to the number of times other leagues have had players arrested (I'm looking at you, Cincinnati Bengals - I'm not positive but it was something like 12 arrests in one year by one team). We even have players who save people from a neo-Nazi attack.

3) From my experience, and from what I have heard from multiple media members, hockey players are the kindest, humblest, and easiest to deal with out of all professional athletes. This makes me very glad, because I find personality/attitude as important as I find skill.

So, that's my (very brief) list...thoughts?


Kerri said...

That was SO funny. I love it.

Although I really don't love it, because it's true. It's a second class sport... but wasn't always. A lot of damage has been done, but it can be reversed.

It'll never have the mass appeal of football in the US. But it can do so much better, and hopefully, it will.

Shan said...

Hockey is a sport that, for some, takes time to "get". Basketball and football don't take as much time. Ball goes through hoop. People catch ball. People ram into each other. Lots of stoppages for junk food. Truthfully, I think they're fine sports, but hockey is fast. I think if you've played hockey, that obviously is a major factor in your appreciation of it.

Anyway, no offense Elise, but that video really made this post what it is.

elise said...

kerri - I feel ya on the love it/don't love it. I laugh because it's hilarious, but it makes me sad because it's completely true. I also agree with your hope that hockey improves in the public eye soon!

shan - Speed is a huge element of the game that, I believe, can get lost sometimes on tv. A lot of my friends have appreciated hockey a lot more after going to a live game and seeing the pace (and since the Wild have Marian Gaborik, we certainly get to see speed).

And no worries, no offense taken. Basically I saw the video, wanted to post it, and just felt like it needed some justification/reason to post it, hence the random blah-ing by myself (although I probably could have just posted the video and been fine, but I'm kind of weird in the sense that I feel the need to justify everything I do...maybe it's because of the school I go to, who knows.)

Shan said...

Wait, if you're in Minne then aren't most people there into hockey?

elise said...

Yes, luckily for me, lots of people in MN are hockey people so there is pretty good local coverage. But even here there is still way more coverage of other sports. And I've had experiences with other states' coverage/national coverage, too...which I was referring to more than MN coverage.

Amy Lynn said...

My dad and I were actually discussing this the other day. I think it just comes down to exposure. The NHL's heads don't work hard enough to display hockey and advertise. Advertising is key.

Shan - I have to disagree with you slightly because I personally find football a lot harder to follow than hockey. There are a lot more complicated variables that go into football whereas you don't necessarily need a big explanation in order to understand hockey. Yes it's fast paced (and that's why it's so fun) but all you need to really 'know' is: "Shoot puck in net, receive one point." Whereas football takes a longer explanation and you still might need a refresher: "One team kicks it off to the other team, the team that receives must move the ball down the field over 10 yards in 4 increments of 'downs' at a time. Once the team gets into the end zone (either by passing of running), the team receives 6 points. They then have the choice of either attempting to run/pass in for an additional 2 points or kicking it through the field goal for 1 point." You need all that just to understand how they score, otherwise it's just a bunch of people doing weird things on grass.

Shan said...

You're right, my potshots at football were unwarranted and misplaced.